Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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Composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art.

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How do quirks of the human vision system affect photography?

When looking out at the world through our eyes, it's easy to take for granted that our perceptions are an absolute rendering of How Things Are. But in fact, it's not quite as simple as that. Most of ...
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1k views

What should I consider for cropping aspect ratios?

The question What things should one take into account when looking at cropping a photo? asks about factors that affect composition during cropping. I'm interested in a very specific sub-set of this, ...
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2k views

What is the impact of high, low, or eye-level point of view in composition?

Of course there aren't any fixed rules in photography, but since part of photography is about sharing one's viewpoint, I'd like to hear how experienced photographers choose this key aspect of ...
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524 views

Still-life reconstruction considered plagiarism?

I am really bad at still lifes. That is, I never even attempted making one. So I decided to try and make a photo of freshly baked bread. I stumbled across a few amazing shots on the Internet which I ...
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302 views

How to photograph flat plastic in an “interesting” way to show off its properties?

At work we are currently in the process of photographing samples of materials. The idea is to photograph them to show their structure/properties more than their shape (i.e. if we have a steel cog, we ...
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620 views

What and how to crop?

When I take a photo of something like a building, I tend to shoot the whole building, because later I want to get the feeling and impression I had when I took this photo. I want to transfer these ...
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1answer
650 views

What is diagonal dominance?

In another question, rule of Diagonal Dominance was mentioned. I had never heard of such rule, so I'd like to know... What is rule of diagonal dominance about? How to apply it in photography? When ...
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7answers
560 views

Is technical perfection necessary for an artistically awe-inspiring photograph?

What is your feeling in front of an awe-inspiring photograph (with really good composition, light, color, depth of field, etc.) but with unsatisfactory technical qualities (for example: JPEG ...
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4answers
723 views

Which is better - autofocus and recompose vs. manual focus?

In some occasions autofocus doesn't focus what I intend it to. What is the better option - to use autofocus, focus what I want and recompose, or use manual focus in that situation?
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212 views

Subject alongside, at the intersection or inside lines in composition rules?

I have been reading different articles on photo composition. These discuss rules of thirds, triangles, and golden ratio, each suggesting different and contradicting approaches. Some of them say to ...
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490 views

How can I make my beach shots more interesting?

I like to visit beaches on my vacation, so I always come back with shots of the shore and sand. They always turn out quite boring, and I'm not sure what they are missing generally speaking to really ...
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205 views

Do Left and Right matter in how the photo is perceived?

Usually, when composing I choose if placing the subject on one side or the other depending on the subject itself, the background or other subjective or practical reasons. But abstracting out from ...
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2answers
408 views

Are there guidelines for using “Dutch angles”?

Some authors such as this and this suggest tilting the camera so that the horizon is not level, presumably adding interest to a photograph. Are there any guidelines for a beginner like me on when to ...
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6answers
656 views

How was this high-gloss achieved when taking photos of skyscrapers?

I found this picture in my folders (not sure where it originally came from but (C) Daniel Groszek ). How were the colours achieved here obtained? It looks like a black and white photo, plus blue ...
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5answers
423 views

Does a centered object get attention?

When I showed this photo to my friend he mentioned that the flower in the center of the photo got his attention. Although I placed it in the center of the photo, I believe that it's not the only main ...
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2answers
1k views

What is a point of interest in a photograph and where is it lacking in this candle picture?

I've been told that this picture has no point of interest. Does this mean that there are too many elements in focus here? I would like to understand the meaning and the reasons behind it and how to ...
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4answers
299 views

Incorporating haze into landscapes

When shooting landscapes in Western India, I often have a serious problem with haze. The air can often be dusty outside cities and polluted inside. Shooting in the golden hour doesn't always help ...
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4answers
711 views

What is the proper composition when shooting two persons standing by each another?

EDITED When shooting a photo with two persons in the foreground and an out of focus/blurred background (no objects apart of the couple), what is the proper composition to place them? EDITED I made ...
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1answer
464 views

What are the “Distance Setting Marks” for use in storytelling composition?

I am reading Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson, to learn some bits and tricks about photography. I came across one line "You would first choose to set your aperture to f/22 and than align the ...
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5answers
402 views

How should I position my camera to emphasize the foreground using a wide/ultra-wide angle lens?

I have seen plenty of landscape shots online and in books that have enthralling foreground and awesome background. At many places, I have read to get close to the foreground. I understand that, ...
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8answers
630 views

How to *make* a nature photograph?

I found this scene to be quite beautiful for sure, but when I look at it from the photographer's view point, I find that that person just went there, saw the scene, clicked the photo and returned ...
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4answers
349 views

How do I compose photos with prime lenses?

I own a Sony NEX-5R, with two prime lenses: 19mm F2.8 Sigma, and 35mm F1.8 Sony. How do I best compose photos with prime lenses like these? I can think of a few: Walk towards or away from the ...
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6answers
2k views

In what situations should I use which lenses while traveling to Paris?

I'll be travelling to Paris and I'll be bringing me with a Canon T2i/550D, a Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3,5-5,6 IS and a Tokina 11-16mm f/2,8 (I could also bring a Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II). I bought the ...
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3answers
1k views

When taking a picture, where should the horizon be?

I know and understand the rule of thirds, but I would like to know, when taking a picture of something such as a tree, should the horizon be positioned on the top or bottom third line?
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364 views

Taking sports and action shots with regular lenses

I do not shoot action or sports photos. I was asked to shoot a friend's soccer game. I am not looking for perfect magazine quality images; however, I'd like to maximize the quality of my shots with ...
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5answers
309 views

How to shoot for wide website hero image?

I'm an in-house web developer who is in charge of the technical aspect of a companies website. I have also dabbled in photography in the past, so I do have some photography knowledge. I am also the ...
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2answers
1k views

What is one (single) point perspective photography?

Single point perspective is a technique used in drawing. Using one perspective, parallel lines converge to one point somewhere in the distance. This point is called the vanishing point (VP). This ...
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1answer
628 views

What style of composition for food photography triggers people's appetite?

What kind of style and position triggers more the appetite of people? What are the best ways to position food and combine with other objects? What kind of objects are better combined with food? Does ...
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1answer
502 views

How do triangles work as a tool for composition?

I've heard that triangles can be used as a tool in composition. Why would I pay attention to triangles, or structure an image around this shape? What particular significance do triangles have, ...
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3answers
632 views

Why would one recompose after setting exposure?

I am reading Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure. Quoting text from the book: I set up my camera and 75-300mm lens on a tripod. I set my focal length to 130mm and aperture to f/32 and ...
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6answers
691 views

Rule of thirds — is there any scientific proof behind it?

I learned about rule of thirds only recently, and it excited me a lot, and it seems to apply to a lot of situations. But my question is why does it make pictures look more appealing? Does it have ...
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6answers
511 views

When do you center your subject in environmental portraits?

When I shoot environmental portraits, I usually place my subject off center. However, I've seen instances where the photographer has intentionally centered their subject. Here is an example: ...
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172 views

Compositing portrait adult/child

I got asked to take pictures at my nephews birthday party (7 years old), more specifically portrait pictures of him and each family member. So this would be him and one adult (or one of his child ...
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When would one choose a 50mm f/1.4 over 85mm f/1.8 (or vice versa) for portraits?

Say you are using a crop body, and you have both 50mm/1.4 USM and 85mm/1.8 USM lens in your bag. Now, you want to take a portrait where there is adequate light and space, and you have decided to take ...
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3answers
508 views

What is the best way to accurately position camera parallel to subject?

I'm having a hard time getting my lens to perfectly align parallel to the subject. This is very important when photographing subjects such as buildings or interiors. Do I just need to practice seeing ...
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2answers
166 views

How do I take advantage of a tablet to compose better photos?

I find that tablets have one big advantage over other kinds of cameras: phones, point-and-shoots, and interchangeable lens cameras (like the NEX-5R, which I own). And that advantage is the size of ...
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327 views

What would be examples of Principle of Alternation, other than chiaroscuro?

I watched this video of Online Art Academy about Design Principle of Alternation, where alternating light and dark is used to add rhythm, interest and vitality into composition. An obvious example of ...
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653 views

What is a good composition style for photographs like these?

In my photography classes and online resources, I have learned about photographing the subject with a space to breathe in the photograph. But there are several photos in which the head is facing bit ...
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1answer
359 views

How do you photograph sand dunes?

In 2010 I was lucky enough to visit Death Valley. While we were there we went to the sand dunes. I took this shot Its not how I remembered the scene, It seems as if a lot of the detail has been ...
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How can I improve the composition of my food photos?

I am extremely new to food photography and blogging. I am trying to get on foodgawker.com to drive more traffic to my site, but they rejected this photo due to the composition being too tight. If ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the “visual center” of an image?

I've heard that one of the tricks designers use for a more effective result is placing an object in the visual center. Where is the visual center in an image, why is it important, and how could it be ...
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3answers
93 views

How to compose outdoor group shoots to balance the subjects and the background?

I have been shooting landscapes mostly with my budget DSLR Canon EOS 1100D. I am tasked with taking photos on outdoor occasions now. I have no clue on how to shoot an individual/group in outdoors. Be ...
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3answers
913 views

How do I use a 6x4 grid in the viewfinder?

The new Canon 5D Mark III allow you to activate a 6x4 grid in the viewfinder. Does anyone know the use of such a grid (instead of a more classic 3x3) for composition, besides obvious ...
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2answers
502 views

Why the Curiosity pictures are shown tilted?

This one is the last photo that the rover took this week: Why the picture is shown tilted? Why NASA does not rotate it and show it in the correct angle?
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201 views

Subject out of center — what is correct term?

Composition which consists of placing the topic or main subject to the side and never in center of the picture: does that technique have a name?
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4answers
348 views

How to compose a scene which doesn't have any apparent story?

On 1x people often say that to complete a story you need to have a third element. Fine, but what can you do when you don't have a human around to pose for you? How to compose the following scene so ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does the viewfinder of the Nikon D90 have a 4×4 grid instead of 3×3?

I was amazed that viewfinder of my camera has a 4 x 4 grid. Why is this? There's no 3 x 3 grid. Sad. What is the reason to did it so? Is it possible to fix it (upgrade software of camera)? What ...
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3answers
383 views

How do I create a sense of power and splendor in an image?

I'm trying to take that convey strong emotional feelings, and I would like to know whether there is any particular color scheme or type of picture that would convey a feeling of power and/or splendor. ...
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2answers
1k views

How should I position my lighting for photographing books?

This is my setup for photographing books: .. but I have issues with glossy books and magazines. I need help understanding the best place to position the lights so it covers the entire cradle (120 ...
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2answers
73 views

How can I use control over the aperture to take better photos?

I upgraded from a point-and-shoot to a Sony NEX a few months back. I think I've made substantial progress with regards to many aspects of photography like composition, the rule of thirds, ISO, ...